Decorah Staff: From left (back): Sue Severson, Lisa Curtin, Heather Delaney, Casey Mai, Kris Timp, Diana Johnson and Karla Organist; (front): Rachelle Howe, Chelsea Welsh, Lisa Lensing and Fern Rissman. (Submitted photo)
Decorah Staff: From left (back): Sue Severson, Lisa Curtin, Heather Delaney, Casey Mai, Kris Timp, Diana Johnson and Karla Organist; (front): Rachelle Howe, Chelsea Welsh, Lisa Lensing and Fern Rissman. (Submitted photo)

In this season of giving, Upper Explorerland Regional Planning Commission (UERPC) employees joined together to support a regional program through the Iowa Department of Human Services which provides children in foster care with a suitcase for their personal belongings.

Often times, foster children must move from home to home and, during difficult transitions, they carry nothing more than a plastic trash bag with their possessions.

The suitcase program allows children to gain a sense of dignity when moving to a new home. Funds collected from UERPC employees were used to purchase two child-size rolling suitcases fitted with a pillow, blanket, personal toiletries, socks, hat and mittens, along with several games and craft projects.

Executive Director Rachelle Howe extends this message: "Christmas is most truly Christmas when we celebrate it by giving the light of love to those who need it most" (written by Ruth Carter Stapleton).

For more information on what Upper Explorerland has to offer visit their website at uerpc.org or contact Rachelle Howe at rhowe@uerpc.org or 563-382-6171.